ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон
Jumhurii Tojikiston

Republic of Tajikistan
Flag of Tajikistan Coat of Arms of Tajikistan
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: none
Anthem: Surudi Milli
Location of Tajikistan
Capital Dushanbe
Largest city Dushanbe
Official language Tajik(Persian)
Government Unitary republic
 - President Emomali Rahmonov
 - Prime Minister Okil Okilov
 - Declared September 9 1991 
 - Completed December 25 1991 
 - Establishment of the Samanid Empire 875 AD 
 - Total 143,100 km² (95th)
55,251 sq mi 
 - Water (%) 0.3
 - July 2005 estimate 6,507,0001 (100th1)
 - 2000 census 6,127,000
 - Density 45/km² (151st)
117/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
 - Total $8.802 billion (139th)
 - Per capita $1,388 (159th)
HDI  (2003) 0.652 (medium) (122nd)
Currency Somoni (TJS)
Time zone TJT (UTC+5)
Internet TLD .tj
Calling code +992
1 Rank based on UN figures for 2005; estimate based on CIA figures for 2006.

The Republic of Tajikistan (Persian: جمهوری تاجیکستان, Tajik: ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон (Cyrillic)) is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. It is home mainly to the Tajiks, who share culture and history with the Iranians, and speak the Tajiki dialect of Persian. Once the location of the famous Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.

After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly-established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Its natural resources such as cotton and aluminium have contributed greatly to this steady improvement, although an observer has characterized the country as having few natural resources besides hydroelectric power and its strategic location.[1]




"Tajikistan" means the "Land of the Tajiks". Some believe that the name Tajik is a geographic reference to the crown (Taj) of the Pamir Knot.

Tajikistan frequently appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English, though when pronouced in English many Tajiks say "Tojikiston', with an emphasis on a 'o' sound, rather than an 'a' sound. This former transliteration of Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan is from the Russian Таджикистан. In Russian there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/ and дж, or dzh, is used. Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is widely used in English literature derived from Russian sources. Tadjikistan is the spelling in French and can occasionally be found in English language texts. The way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is: .تاجکستان

Controversy surrounds the correct term used to identify people from Tajikistan. The word Tajik has been the traditional term used to describe people from Tajikistan and appears widely in literature. But the ethnic politics of Central Asia have made the word Tajik a controversial word, as it implies that Tajikistan is only a nation for ethnic Tajiks and not ethnic Uzbeks, Russians etc. In addition, the Pamiri population in Gorno-Badakhshan also have sought to create an ethnic identity separate from that of the Tajiks. There is a growing consensus that Tajikistani, which is not ethnic specific and is inclusive of ethnic Tajiks and non-Tajiks alike, is the correct term to call people[citation needed].




Early history

Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent
Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent

The land that is now Tajikistan has been inhabited continuously since 4,000 BC [citation needed]. It has been under the rule of various empires throughout history, mostly the Persian Empire. Before AD, it was part of the Bactrian Empire. Arabs brought Islam in the 7th century. The Persian Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and built the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks. The Mongols would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the emirate of Bukhara. A small community of Jews, displaced from the Middle East after the Babylonian captivity, migrated to the region and settled there after 600 BC, though the majority of Jews did not migrate to Tajikistan until the 20th century.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan plunged into civil war.  The rise of Tajik nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism coupled with political struggles between the ruling elite and the opposition were all key factors in the conflict.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan plunged into civil war. The rise of Tajik nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism coupled with political struggles between the ruling elite and the opposition were all key factors in the conflict.

Russian presence

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire led by Andonis Petanski began to spread into Central Asia during the Great Game, and it took control of Tajikistan. After the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, guerillas throughout Central Asia, known as basmachi waged a war against Bolshevik armies in a futile attempt to maintain independence. The Bolsheviks would prevail after a four year war, in which mosques and villages were burned down and the population heavily suppressed. Soviet authorities imposed a draconian secularization campaign, practicing Muslims, Jews, and Christians were heavily persecuted, and mosques, churches, and synagogues were closed.


Soviet Tajikistan

In 1924 the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as a part of Uzbekistan, but in 1929 the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic was made a separate constituent republic. Moscow did little to develop Tajikistan and it remained relatively behind other Soviet Republics in living conditions, education and industry. In the 1970s dissident Islamic underground parties began to form and by the late 1980s Tajik nationalists were calling for increased rights. Real disturbances did not occur within the republic until 1990. The following year, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Tajikistan declared its independence.


Uneasy independence

The nation almost immediately fell into a civil war that involved various factions fighting one another, these factions were often distinguished by clan loyalties. The non-Muslim population, particularly Russians and Jews, fled the country during this time because of persecution, increased poverty and better economic opportunities in the West. Emomali Rahmonov came to power in 1992, and continues to rule to this day. However, he has been accused of ethnic cleansing against other ethnicities and groups during the Civil War in Tajikistan. In 1997 a ceasefire was reached between Rahmonov and opposition parties (United Tajik Opposition). Peaceful elections were held in 1999, but they were reported by the opposition as unfair, and Rahmonov was re-elected by almost unanimous vote. Russian troops were stationed in southern Tajikistan, in order to guard the border with Afghanistan, until summer 2005. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, American and French troops have also been stationed in the country.



Almost immediately after independence, Tajikistan was plunged into a civil war that saw various factions, allegedly backed by Russia and Iran, fighting one another. All but 25,000 of the more than 400,000 ethnic Russians, who were mostly employed in industry, fled to Russia. By 1997 the war had cooled down, and a central government began to take form, with peaceful elections in 1999.

"Longtime observers of Tajikistan often characterize the country as profoundly averse to risk and skeptical of promises of reform, a political passivity they trace to the country’s ruinous civil war," Ilan Greenberg wrote in a news article in The New York Times just before the country's November 2006 presidential election. [1]

Tajikistan is officially a republic, and holds elections for the President and Parliament. The latest elections occurred in 2005, and as all previous elections, international observers believe them to have been corrupt, arousing many accusations from opposition parties that President Emomali Rahmonov manipulates the election process.

The November 6, 2006 election was boycotted by "mainline" opposition parties, including the 23,000-member Islamic Renaissance Party. Four remaining opponents "all but endorsed the incumbent", Rakhmonov.[1]

Tajikistan to this date is the only country in Central Asia to have included an active opposition in its government. In the Parliament, opposition groups have often clashed with the ruling party, but this has not led to great instability.


Administrative divisions

Tajikistan consists of 4 administrative divisions: 2 provinces (Sughd and Khatlon), 1 autonomous province (Gorno-Badakhshan), and the region of rebublican subordination (formerly known as Karotagin Province).

Division ISO 3166-2 Capital Area (sq. km) Pop (2000) Key
Sughd TJ-SU Khujand 26,100 1,870,000 1
Region of Republican Subordination TJ-RR Dushanbe 28,400 1,338,000 2
Khatlon TJ-KT Qurghonteppa  24,600 2,150,000 3
Gorno-Badakhshan TJ-BG Khorugh 63,700 206,000 4

Each region consists of several districts (called "nohiya").



Tajikistan was the poorest country in Central Asia following a civil war after it became independent in 1991. With foreign revenue precariously dependent upon exports of cotton and aluminum, the economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks. In FY 2000, international assistance remained an essential source of support for rehabilitation programs that reintegrated former civil war combatants into the civilian economy, thus helping keep the peace. International assistance also was necessary to address the second year of severe drought that resulted in a continued shortfall of food production. On August 21, 2001, the Red Cross announced that a famine was striking Tajikistan, and called for international aid for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan's economy grew substantially after the war. The GDP of Tajikistan expanded at an average rate of 9.6% over the period of 2000-2004 according to the World Bank data. This improved Tajikistan's position among other Central Asian countries (namely Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), which seem to have degraded economically ever since.[2]



The Ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia
The Ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia

Tajikistan has a population of 7,320,815 (July 2006 est.). The major ethnic group is Persian, although there is a sizeable minority of Uzbeks, and a small population of Russians, whose numbers are declining due to emigration. Pamiris of Badakhshan are considered to belong to larger group of Tajiks. Likewise, the official language of Tajikistan is Tajiki dialect of Persian, while Russian is largely spoken in business and for government purposes. Although the Tajik and Uzbek are now classified as separate ethnic groups, on account of their languages, this is a relatively new phenomenon and originates from the conquest of Central Asia by the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Despite its poverty, Tajikistan has a high rate of literacy with an estimated 98% of the population having the ability to read and write. Most of the population follows Sunni Islam, although a sizeable number of Shi'a are present as well. Bukharan Jews had lived in Tajikistan since the 2nd century BC, but today only a few hundred remain. There is also a small population of Yaghnobi people.

Modern Tajiks proudly view the Persian Samanid Empire as being the first Tajik state in history.  This monument located in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe honors Saman Khuda, ancestor of the Samanids and a source of Tajik nationalism.
Modern Tajiks proudly view the Persian Samanid Empire as being the first Tajik state in history. This monument located in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe honors Saman Khuda, ancestor of the Samanids and a source of Tajik nationalism.

The Tajik Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare reported that 104,272 disabled people are registered in Tajikistan (2000). This group of people suffers most from poverty in Tajikistan. The Tajik government and the World Bank considered activities to support this part of the population described in the World Bank's Poverty Reduction Paper.[3]



Satellite photograph of Tajikistan
Satellite photograph of Tajikistan

Tajikistan is landlocked, and is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area. It is covered by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3,000 meters (approx. 10,000 ft) above sea level. The only major areas of lower land are in the north which is part of the Fergana Valley, and in the southern Kafirnigan and Vakhsh valleys which form the Amu Darya and have much higher rainfall. Dushanbe is located on the southern slopes above the Kafirnigan valley.

The Amu Darya and Panj rivers mark the border with Afghanistan, and Tajikistan's mountains are the major source of runoff for the Aral Sea basin.

About 1% of the country's area is covered by lakes:

A photograph of Ismail Samani Peak (then known as Peak Communism) taken in 1989 when Tajikistan was part of the Soviet Union.
A photograph of Ismail Samani Peak (then known as Peak Communism) taken in 1989 when Tajikistan was part of the Soviet Union.
Mountain Height Location
Independence Peak 7,174 m 23,537 ft     Northern border in the Trans-Alay Range
Kyzylart Pass 4,280 m 14,042 ft     Northern border in the Trans-Alay Range
Ismail Samani Peak (highest) 7,495 m 24,590 ft     North of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Avicenna Peak 6,974 m 22,881 ft     North of Ismail Samani Peak
Peak Korzhenievski 7,105 m 23,310 ft     Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Qatorkuhi Akademiyai Fanho 6,785 m 22,260 ft     Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Concord Peak 5,469 m 17,943 ft     Southern border in the northern ridge of the Karakoram Range
Qullai Karl Marks 6,726 m 22,067 ft     Southern border in the northern ridge of the Karakoram Range
Qullai Mayakovskiy 6,096 m 20,000 ft     Along the border to Afghanistan.


The Yaghnobi people live in mountainous areas of northern Tajikistan. The estimated number of Yagnobians is now about 250,000. Forced migrations have decimated their numbers. They speak the Yaghnobi language, which has its roots in the Sogdian language.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Greenberg, Ilan, "Media Muzzled and Opponents Jailed, Tajikistan Readies for Vote," The New York Times, November 4, 2006 (article dateline November 3, 2006), page A7, New York edition
  2. BBC's Guide to Central Asia. BBC News. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.
  3. Tajikistan - Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and joint assessment. World Bank. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.

Miscellaneous topics


Further reading


See also


External links and references

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../art/f/r.html"

This text comes from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for a given article, visit the corresponding entry on the English Wikipedia and click on "History" . For more details about the license of an image, visit the corresponding entry on the English Wikipedia and click on the picture.